What’s Your Black Friday Tradition?

November 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Growing up, my father was in management in the retail business. For me, the day after Thanksgiving marked the beginning of not seeing Daddy until Christmas Eve, and for my father that Friday was the biggest indicator of how his year-end would turn out. The Friday after Thanksgiving, often referred to as Black Friday, is still is a huge indicator how the retailers will fare.

According to UC Berkeley economist and historian Martha Olney, during an interview on public radio, the origin of Black Friday began during a time of economic turmoil. Olney explains:

“Franklin Roosevelt, as one of his moves to try to help the economy during the Great Depression, moved Thanksgiving from the last Thursday of the month to the fourth Thursday of the month so as to make the Christmas shopping season one week longer, and hope to turn those balance sheets into that nice black color instead of the red negative color.”

I think we should refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Green Friday. That has a much more pleasant ring to it. Shoppers are saving money, stores are making money, and if you’re not shopping, or working in a retail store, you may be watching football somewhere, which of course is played on a nice green football field.

As a teen and young adult, I’d hit the stores to begin my Christmas shopping and take advantage of the great sales offered. Later, I married into a football family. Now my Friday after Thanksgiving is consumed with college football. Our big game: Alabama v. Auburn.  If we’re not tailgating or in the stadium, we’re huddled around a television set watching the big game.

Whatever your Black Friday tradition is, support your local economy. Whether you’re buying the ultimate gift at an incredible sale price, or buying a bag chips to watch the big game.

Cindy Hodo is a partner of Quest Group.

Click here for the complete interview with Olney: http://www.publicradio.org/columns/kpcc/kpccnewsinbrief/2008/11/uc-berkeley-economisthistorian.html

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